Fortunately, Bank of America came to their senses and realized that all of these petty fees will hurt their business. Even though they decided to cancel the debit fee charge they have made some increases to their fee structure. Although, not everyone will be affected by the new fee increases. I will continue banking with them, just because it is so convenient. Their online banking and bill pay is so convenient and being in California, Bank of America ATMs are abundant and ubiquitous.
I’ve been banking with Bank of America since I was a teenager. Also, for California residents, BofA is the most convenient bank when it comes to finding ATM machines and bank locations.Â BofA fees are pretty low too, with free checking for most people with direct deposit. Not to mention, they were pioneers in online banking and I have never had a more convenient way to pay my bills and keep on top of my money management chores.
Now they announced at the beginning of next year they will start charging customers who pay with their debit cards, $5 a month. Many people’s immediate reaction is, “those greedy banks, now what are they trying to bilk us for?” The problem is that when banks started encouraging everyone to use debit cards they had every intention of making a profit, not losing money. The simple way to do that was to charge the merchants fees. Some merchants generously pay these fees and others pay them by charging us, but the banks are not charging us fees for the use of the debit cards.
With the enactment of the Dodd-Frank bill, banks will now be limited to charging merchants 21 cents, which is less than half of what they charge now. Since they can’t continue to charge fees to the merchants they have to make up the difference somehow, and that is how the $5 fee comes into play.Â So maybe we should at least put blame where it is due. This is another result of shortsighted laws passed by regulation happy liberal lawmakers.
If you happen to be someone who voted for these folks, then you should shoulder the responsibility too. It matters who we vote for and what those people stand for. I wish everyone would take the time to open their minds and get informed and look at the big picture, when they go to the voting booth. It really does make a difference in our lives and especially our pocket books.Â I found this great editorial on Investors Business Daily that explains things really well. Take the time to check it out and make sure that who you vote for is actually in alignment with your real values.